With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought it was the perfect time to share our newly revamped, healthified taco night!
First, can we be friends? Okay good. We need to be friends to move on here...because we're going to talk about beans. And when ya talk about beans in this house, ya gotta talk about gas. The gas we pass actually. Enter:
Have you read this book? I bought it in high school I think...or college. I knew one day it would come in handy for some fun evenings. We read it and laugh...and then reread it and laugh...because we're mature like that. Not to be outdone by the book below though. Quite entertaining as well.
Anyhoo, since changing the way we eat, we have noticed that the subject of gas has become very relevant. It's kind of ridiculous how very constantly relevant it is. In order to make us all feel a little better, my husband told me that Rip Esselstyn says you can tell how well you're eating by how loose your bowels are. I'm here to tell you good ol' Rip is not making that up. You're welcome. You start eating all the awesome superpowers...legumes, whole grains, veggies, fruits...you become well acquainted with this subject! Consider it fair warning.
So, can we still be friends? Okay phew! Moving on to legit awesomeness. Taco night has become one of our favorite meals since eliminating meat and dairy. Truth be told, taco night has always been one of our faves. I would cook up ground turkey breast with taco seasoning and pile my taco high with goodies...taco sauce, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, avocados, and sour cream. My favorites of course being the creamy addition of the cheese and sour cream. An easy meal that was tasty and hearty. But, we have been able to change it up a bit so that it remains one of our favorites within this way of eating.
Let's start with the beans. I've been using canned beans forever, but recently tried THIS crockpot recipe that was super easy and great. We just ate the last bit that was thawed from frozen, and it tasted just as good as the day I made them. I would add some additional seasoning next time I make a batch of these bad boys, but overall, they were perfectly wonderful just as is.
I used THIS recipe from Amy and have found her blog especially lovely and inspirational. Her story amazing and her faith...incredible.
So along with the "refried" beans, I make a rice and bean mixture that acts as our meat substitute. I originally just cooked brown rice in our rice cooker, and then cooked/sauteed it in homemade taco seasoning along with canned black and pinto beans. Then I saw THIS on Amy's blog (I wanted to try something different, and she's got lots of great ideas!) and cooked up the rice and beans with taco seasoning and a can of Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies. It provided quite a bump up in the spice/heat factor, and it's something I'd like to play around with a bit more.
...RIGHT NOW TACO NIGHT INCLUDES...
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Crockpot Refried Beans
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Mexican Style Brown Rice and Beans
Guacamole (key creaminess when eliminating cheese and sour cream)
Salsa or Pico de Gallo (store bought or homemade)
Taco Sauce (medium heat...is that wimpy?)
Cowboy Caviar (occasionally...eliminate oil in recipes as it's not needed)
Cheese (a little Colby Jack for Coop...slowly eliminating)
We love it! Full of flavor, full of health, full of yum! Of course there are other mexican style recipes for beans and rice, as well as other versions of cowboy caviar and salsas that look so tasty. This is just where we've landed for now. Feels good.
Still hoping to find the perfect blend of homemade taco seasoning. The ones I've tried are good, but I haven't found the final yum yet...maybe because of the flavor difference when cooked with rice and beans as opposed to meat? Still playing around. What's your favorite taco seasoning recipe?
And while we're at it, what does your taco night look like? Are there any slight changes you could make toward becoming plant strong?
Big hugs and lots of love,